Revenues and salaries down at ACME


The quarterly conference call of ACME Communications ran all of 10 minutes and elicited not a single question from an analyst or investor. Nevertheless, the TV group owner did have some good news to report, along with the bad.

Revenues for the syndicated “The Daily Buzz” were up by 5%, with broader advertiser support and acceptance of the young-skewing TV morning show. However, that didn’t offset a 24% decline in revenues for the company’s TV stations, most of which are CW affiliates. Net revenues from continuing operations fell 21% to $6.7 million.

Total operating costs were down 18%, which wasn’t enough to counter the revenue drop. Broadcast cash flow was a negative $116K, compared to a positive $640K a year earlier.

It’s still early, but President and COO Doug Gealy noted that January is currently pacing up 9% for ACME. October was down 32%, but November is pacing down only 13.4% and December 14.2%, so Q4 is currently pacing down 22%.

Chairman and CEO Jamie Kellner, who has already reduced his own paycheck to zero, noted that Gealy and CFO Tom Allen have agreed to modified employment agreements which cut their salaries by about half, while allowing them to work for the company on a non-exclusive basis. That has reduced expenses by over a half million bucks per year.

ACME continues to be debt-free and the company continues to work to sell off its portfolio of TV stations. That portfolio currently has six stations in five markets, with five carrying The CW network and one programming from MyNetworkTV.